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International students and immigration targets

The Conservative Party has issued a press release appearing to criticise Ukip for wanting to exclude international students from their 50,000 net immigration cap.

Net student immigration in the year to September 2014 was 170,000 according to the Office for National Statistics.

John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy at London First, said:

“We think removing international students – a £10bn export market for the UK – from immigration targets is something all parties should adopt.

“We need to send a message that Britain is welcoming to foreign talent and investment, and is open for business.

“Sadly the wider anti-immigration rhetoric from Ukip and from across British politics drowns this message out.

“That’s why we’re increasingly seeing foreign students turning to places such as America, Canada, and Australia because they don’t think they’re welcome here.”

The Conservatives responded that they were not calling for limits on international students but seeking to highlight apparent contradictions in Ukip’s borders policy.


We continued making our wider immigration case as part of a debate featured on ITV London News.

Our Head of Immigration Policy, Mark Hilton, argued that London’s economy would be crippled if our access to skilled foreign works was cut off.

You can view the clip here, Mark is on at 3.31.

Contact: Mark Hilton,

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